9 Fund-Raisers in 1 Night: Democrats Vow Reform in N.Y., yet Money Still Flows

The goal, in most cases, is actually to avoid what is actually commonplace in addition to also legal in brand-new York: Elected officials spend their day meeting with lobbyists inside the Capitol to discuss pending legislation in addition to also the budget, in addition to also then spend their night collecting checks by many of the same people.

Yet that will two-step is actually part of the culture in Albany, especially inside the weeks before a brand-new state budget is actually officially ironed out, when opportunities to win influence are abundant.

The scene is actually on repeat — 10 one night, eight another. Political veterans in Albany call that will “the circuit.”

“You’re up there, the potential donors are up there, the room is actually available in addition to also that will’s just an easy thing for people to put together,” said Rory I. Lancman, who represented neighborhoods of Queens inside the State Assembly, in addition to also currently does so inside the brand-new York City Council. “For a lot of people, that will’s probably the easiest, quickest way to raise some money.”

Although legislators may not so much as discuss their fund-raisers inside the Capitol, they can hold fund-raising events inside the Albany Room, a private venue virtually inside of the Capitol. Just pass through the security turnstiles into an underground concourse in addition to also that will’s a few steps away.

With almost always another fund-raiser to get to, the food in addition to also drink at these events are mostly ignored; if a lobbyist spends more than 15 minutes at an event, that will likely means a missed opportunity elsewhere.

“I’m not on the circuit; I’m just at one party,” James E. McMahon, a lobbyist with the nickname Cadillac, insisted, as he milled about an event for the Senate Republican Campaign Committee at the Fort Orange Club. “that will’s like the Grand Hotel: people come in addition to also people go, yet nothing ever happens.”